Fianna Fáil local election candidate for Naas Robert Power has called for answers from the Government on how it intends to charge Naas households that will not be fitted with water meters by the time water charges kick in next January.
In fact that just a third of households will be fitted with meters by the end of this year.
Mr Power commented, “Every household across Naas will start clocking up water charges from October, with the first bills expected next year. And yet it’s estimated that the vast majority won’t be fitted with meters by that stage. Areas such as Pacelli Road in Naas or Nicholastown in Kilcullen have yet to receive water metres”
“It seems that the Government intends to slap water charges on these unmetered households in a deeply unfair manner. It is three years since this Government took office and with just five months to go until charges kick in, we have no details on how this will be done.
“All the Government can say in response is they have commissioned a report into unmetered areas. He refused to answer questions from Fianna Fáil about the report’s remit, when it was commissioned, when it started, when it will be completed and when unmetered households in Naas will know exactly how much they are forced to pay.
“People will wonder how the Labour Party can justify what’s happening here. Labour Leader Éamon Gilmore has repeatedly said that his party is against flat-rate water charges. Will he and his colleagues allow over one million households to be hit with flat rate charges towards the end of this year because their meters haven’t been installed?
“It’s crucial that this report is not just another exercise in optics by a Fine Gael Minister who has been told to appease his junior coalition partners. I hope this is not another attempt to avoid controversy before the local elections at the end of May but kicking the issue into touch while this ‘report’ is written.”